As an intern here at PGi, I’m completely new to this whole teleconferencing thing. Conference calls have opened up an entirely new and confusing world of meetings for me. Never before have I had to try to identify who was speaking, laughing or coughing in a meeting. Nor have I entered a meeting, to which I was not invited, unannounced. (No intern wants to be known as the “conference creeper,”but I may be earning my title.) Occasionally I work remotely from campus, and I tend to receive some strange looks when a friend approaches me, and I dismiss them with a violent wave of my hand, whispering harshly, “I’m in a meeting!”
Don’t get me wrong. Conference calls are exciting. Although I’m just getting the hang of things, I’ve come up with a couple of simple 2010 Meeting Resolutions to ease my way into teleconferencing world. They may seem amateur, but following these self-proclaimed rules will hopefully spare me some future embarrassment and help me learn as much as possible about the company.
1. Stay focused – In a conference call, no one is looking at you. The freedom of a conference call is huge! I could be surfing the Internet or biting my fingernails, and the other members of the meeting would never know…or would they? It’s easy to imagine my horror if a question was directed at me as I’m laughing at the latest celebrity gossip on MSN. “Um…sorry…what?” Not pretty.
2. Take notes – As an intern or entry-level associate, there is always something new to learn. Taking notes means you are actively engaging in the conversation, which makes you more likely to remember what was said. Even if the meeting may not seem to apply, there’s always a tidbit of information that can be used in the future. Whether it’s a bit of company jargon that you can later use to sound intelligent, or just a deeper understanding of what your colleagues are focusing on, it’s best to retain as much information as possible. Taking notes will also help achieve the above resolution.
3. Contribute – Since no one can see your face, it’s easy to disappear into the background of a call. That will clearly get you nowhere. My goal is to contribute, when it’s appropriate, and hopefully add another perspective to the conversation.
Hopefully, following these simple, yet important resolutions will set me on the right track for the duration of my internship at PGi.